Powerstone Vol. #4 (of 6) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Saturday, April 20, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, April 09, 2002

What They Say
As the quest for the enigmatic Power Stones continues, young adventurer Edward Falcon arrives in the castle town of Moon Land, only to find the once flowering city ravaged by drought. The drought isn't natural, however - it's supernatural - and caused by a very dangerous enemy!

Then, Falcon and his comrades-in-arms, Ryoma, Rouge, Ayame, and Mitsue, must conquer a giant glacier as they continue their search for Edward's father in Soil Land. Things look pretty grim for our heroes! So grim, in fact, it seems even Power Stones might not be enough to save them from impending doom!

The Review!
This installment of Powerstone brings Falcon a few steps closer to finding his father, but you know that if he found him now that the series would be over.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in English as English is the only language presented on it. The show is presented in a basic stereo mix which is pretty decent, featuring some minor bits of directionality across the forward soundstage but otherwise just filling things up nicely. Dialogue is clear and we didn't notice any dropouts or distortions throughout it.

For the most part, this is a really nice looking release. Colors are vibrant and solid and cross coloration is extremely minimal to non-existent on some episodes. There are a few instances of jaggies that are noticeable along things such as some of the characters turbans, and some of the backgrounds look a little soft at times, but may be intentional.

The front cover for this volume is pretty nice with some action poses by a couple of the good guys while fainter images of the villains are behind them. The back cover gives a rundown of what to expect while providing some screen shots and also lists the episodes titles (but no episode numbers nor is there a volume number). The insert provides another shot of the front cover while the reverse side of it shows off more boxart.

There's really only one menu here, and that's the main one that has no music or animation, and just lets you select the episode you want or to check out the trailers. Though minimal and sort of bland, it does the job effectively.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Is it a bad thing if two days after watching this disc, I can’t remember the content at all?

Rewatching it while writing up the technical review, it was almost like a new show again with only a few parts coming back to memory. The show is pretty similar to past volumes in that we continue to follow Falcon and his manservant around as they search for his missing father whose always one step ahead of them. The only thing that really changes is the locale and which people are either helping or hindering him in his search.

The main place they deal with this time is the fabled city of Moon Land. This is probably one of the reasons the show manages so well in that it actually goes to a locale and stays there for a few episodes as opposed to most episodic US animation shows that go to different locations show after show, or just stay in one and go visit others. With Falcon always on the move, you get exposed to more things in detail here.

Powerstone is a basic reminder that yes, even anime can be just like Saturday morning cartoons. Being based on a video game (one I like at least), Powerstone's not bad, but it's just incredibly mediocre

English Language

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

Mania Grade: C
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: C+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 19.98
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Powerstone